Sunday, April 30, 2000

Clean up land, says Hamilton


Violations identified

By Earnest Winston
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HAMILTON — City health officials are mailing letters to property owners informing them of housing code violations that must be fixed.

        Dr. William Karwisch, who directs Hamilton's health department, and five sanitarians recently inspected residential properties and took 2,000 photos of violations ranging from an accumulation of trash to high grass or weeds, abandoned vehicles or organic waste.

        “I think if we're going to bring businesses to our city, we have to take pride in our city, and one of those ways is cleaning up,” City Councilwoman Kathy Becker said.

        The letters are being mailed with pictures of the violations.

        “It really gets rid of a lot of cars that have sat there throughout the winter. It has been quite effective. And it also cuts down on the number of complaints throughout the rest of the summer,” Dr. Karwisch said.

        Each person notified of violations may request a hearing before the Housing Appeals Board. Appeals can be filed within 10 days of the notice with the city's health department.

        If property owners or the residents do not comply, they could face up to a $200 fine and/or up to 30 days in jail for each offense. Each day the violation continues will constitute a separate offense.

        Between 85 percent and 90 percent of the people who receive letters comply with the orders, officials said.

        The cleanup effort is “meant to keep the neighborhood as nice as possible. It's not meant to cause anyone any great distress,” Dr. Karwisch said.

        Senior citizens who can't correct the violations can call the health department at 868-5978 for help. Other questions should be directed to the health department.

       



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